Do you know what others are saying about you online? Keeping track of your online reputation is very important for businesses of any size; and you'd be surprised what people are saying about you. Using the free service Google Alerts, you can get notifications whenever Google finds something new about you on the internet.
There are plenty of terrible ways businesses can suffer from data loss; the inevitable failed hard drive, electrical disturbances, human error, viruses, fires, floods, earthquakes - you name it. That's what backup is for, right? If you are running (and managing) a tape backup system, and keeping the backups off site, what could possibly go wrong? Today we investigate one of the leading causes of data loss. It will shock you.
Email has integrated itself into the way we do business. If you use Outlook as your primary email client, there are plenty of tricks you can do to increase your productivity and practice better email etiquettes.
The words Productivity and Internet have been fit together in many different sentences, and usually in the sense that the Internet is a Productivity-killer. Take Facebook, for example; there are many arguments stating that Facebook is costing companies billions of dollars because employees are spending too much time on the social network while at work. Of course, Facebook (and the other social networks) are practically mandatory for businesses who want to market themselves. Other companies are clamoring that personal social media use greatly improves productivity and employee moral.
So which is it? Some Southern California companies spend a lot of money to block all the popular 'time-waster' sites on the internet under the pretense that if they didn't, employees would cost the company a lot of money.The answer relies in part on your employees, but studies have shown that a little cognitive-free internet usage goes a long way at keeping employees sharp and productive. Of course, if you have employees that spend the majority of their day watching YouTube and playing Farmville, that shouldn't be tolerated; but if your employees are otherwise productive, studies say a little distraction goes a long way. Listening to streaming music online or taking a break to check Twitter can clear the mind and help an employee focus.With that said, companies should invest in a good security solution (one that runs on the network, not your end-users' PCs) to limit the type of content that goes through. Blocking adult content (as well as malware and other internet threats) will prevent expensive consequences that jeopardize more than just productivity. Every so often, we have a business owner come to us seeking a solution to completely monitor their employees every move online. While that technology is readily available, that is more of a draconian measure that can cause productive, valuable employees to feel uncomfortable. This topic is certainly full of fine-lines.A small or midsized business should definitely have a social media policy in place to outline guidelines of communicating online to protect your company brand, integrity, and your clients. That said, a small business should never dismiss social media for the marketing and communication benefits.
What about your company? Do you have strict policies in place to keep employees from using the internet personally, or do you promote personal social media usage? Leave us a comment!
Do you have confidence in your company backup solution? If your servers went down now, would you be able to rely on the data you have backed up? No matter how advanced or in-depth your backup system is, you won't know if it works unless you test it. If you don't test your backup system, how can you have confidence in it? There are plenty of issues that can occur with backups that aren't your fault at all.
Backup Software Failure
To begin with, the backup software can fail itself. When this happens, the backup fails and when you try to restore the data too many files are missing or corrupted. You can't just rely on the backup software telling you that it has securely written a backup.
Another reason behind backup failure is simply hardware failure. Hardware failure should be at the top of your list of scenarios with backup error, because, given enough time, any tape, hard drive, flash drive or any other physical memory storage device will break down eventually.
The physical security of your backup device is important. Numerous companies keep their primary back-up on-site. This is not good for multiple reasons. Not only does this leave the company open to theft, it also leaves them at risk if their primary location is destroyed in a disaster.
Human error can also come into play when dealing with backup failure. Take tape-replacement for example. Studies show that in many small businesses, the newest employee is tasked to remember to insert and eject the tape each day. Since the responsibility for one of the most imperative security-related tasks is sometimes assigned to the newest employee, there is a lot of room for human error.
Not all reasons to test your company's backup are negative. By testing your backup often, you'll find new ways to save on storage costs while you refine the speed and consistency of your backup process. This immediate benefit will help put money back in your company's profit. Finally, every recovery is a learning experience since not every recovery is the same. When you test your backup, you'll learn different nuances about your IT infrastructure that you didn't know before. Testing your backup will also help to reduce backup and storage costs, improve overall security, and improve backup and recovery speeds. Testing will also give your company's employees an opportunity to share emergency recovery knowledge with others in the company, which will make sure that your company's data survival doesn't rest in the hands of any single person or group.
These are only some of the reasons why you should test your backup. While most of them are reasons to make sure that the backup saved properly, by testing your backup you can possibly save money by testing consistently. If you feel that testing your backups is unnecessary, ask yourself if you're ready to face a backup scenario and challenge: Would you feel comfortable erasing your hard-drives right now, and restoring them from backups?.
Losing your smartphone can be a blood-chilling experience. The rush of worry, followed by the frantic dash around the last couple of places you've been searching high and low for your phone when you thought you put it in your pocket. The slow, creeping fear that your phone has been stolen before you could return to the place you left it. Well, for Android OS users, they now have a backup plan.
"Plan B" by Lookout Mobile Security, gives you the ability to find your phone whether it's been lost or stolen. By downloading the app to your phone after it has been lost/stolen, it will email the G-mail account attached to the phone with the approximate location of the phone within 100 meters. "Plan B" is one of many products designed by Lookout Mobile Security. Lookout features a whole suite of mobile security tools for Windows Mobile OS, Android, and for Blackberry OS.
"Plan B" can be handy in a pinch, especially for businesses that provide business smartphones for their employees, but shouldn't be the end-all-be-all of your mobile security. If your business uses Microsoft Exchange, you can be sure that sensitive information does not get released. By having certain security policies with Microsoft Exchange you can enable the ability wipe an entire phone remotely, so in case one does get lost you can make sure that internal business information isn't accidently released.
While "Plan B" is a last resort for security with your Android smartphone, there are many other mobile security apps available. Lookout Mobile Security also features a security suite app that has several different features including the features of "Plan B"; there are also other security apps available on the Android Market.
Cloud computing is the new way to get things done for small businesses. It's easy, it's secure, and it is great for the environment. According to a report put on by the Carbon Disclosure Project, cloud computing can potentially reduce the world's carbon emissions by millions of metric tons. The differences are wildly significant compared to running your own in-house data centers, even if you just have a server or two.
Sometimes studies like these are laughable, but nevertheless, worth discussing. Norton's latest Cybercrime report suggests that people who fall victim to malware are statistically more likely to be mugged in real life. If someone is careless when it comes to online security, could that really reflect how susceptible they are in everyday life?
Be aware of the normal functioning pattern of your PC. If it starts acting strange or does something that is not part of its normal routine and isn’t part of scheduled maintenance then you should be on alert, as this could be a sign of a malware issue.
Make sure to install a reliable anti-malware software program and that you update it on a regular basis.
Install a firewall to protect your PC. A firewall is particularly important to PCs that are connected to the internet for long hours as this will help prevent a large percentage of Malware attacks.
Use an email client that employs a spam filter. This is because a lot of Trojans and other viruses are spread over the internet by using email as a medium. Email clients that have a spam filter will help provide protection for your computer. However, for complete email protection we would recommend an offsite filter such as Reflexion’s email security service. Contact us for more info about Reflexion.
Plenty of our clients use Remote Desktop to access a terminal server or use their workstation from an off-site location. Depending on your connection and the speed of all of the devices in question, remote work can either be pretty seamless or a laggy, sluggish endeavor if your Remote Desktop client isn’t configured correctly. If you are running into a situation where you type something on your keyboard and it takes several long seconds for it to show up, these tweaks can improve performance and reduce input delays.
First you’ll want to open the Remote Desktop Client. You can find that under Programs > Accessories on the Start Menu. Click on Remote Desktop and then click Options on the window that comes up.
1. Let’s start with the Display tab. Turn the color depth down to 16-bit (or lower, if you aren’t doing anything that involves a lot of colors). If you are working with images or colors are too distorted to work, bump it back up to 16-bit, but the higher the color settings are, the slower your connection will be.
2. On the Local Resources tab, adjust your Audio settings. By default, sound that occurs on the workstation you remote into will broadcast over to the one you are sitting at. If you don’t want it to, you can disable it. Just keep in mind, if you run your email client on the remote location, you won’t hear the email notification sound.
3. Also on the Local Resources tab, you can disable printers. Doing this will prevent you from printing to the remote location, so if you do need to print, skip this. If you don’t need to print, this can solve quite a few slowness issues, especially when you first remote in.
Click on the Experience tab and uncheck all of the options except Bitmap caching. This may diminish some of the flashier windows effects, but saves a ton of bandwidth that you don’t really need to give up to work productively.
Now Connect like you would normally (back on the General tab) and you should things should be running faster!
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